Windows 10 is in this weird place right now. It’s the dominant operating system for gaming and for productivity, and its success has seen Microsoft’s stock price improve considerably in the last few years. For all the good things that it does, though, there’s still some odd decisions being made by Microsoft – whether it’s advertisements in the Mail app or in the Start Menu, or the inclusion of Candy Crush inside the Enterprise version of Windows 10. The latest bizarre move is related to the Edge browser, Microsoft’s reimagining of Internet Explorer that works surprisingly well. When you install anything else, be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Vivaldi, your installation is blocked by the pop-up pictured above.
The pop-up appears for Windows Insiders running version 1809 build 17758.1, and will launch if any other browser is installed, as seen in this Tweet here. It only starts when either the installer stub or the offline executable is launched, which means that Microsoft is looking for those installer names. I will be trying to get this to trigger for browser installers that don’t have their actual names – if that still brings up the pop-up, it will be interesting.
When you click on the option to disable the warning, it opens the Settings menu to switch the default application, but it’s not clear which setting should be changed to disable the warning. The real setting is inside Start > Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Installing apps, and you turn off app recommendations to disable the pop-up. Windows 10 will still nag you to use Edge in any case, throwing up a little notification in the bottom-right corner of the display.
Microsoft hasn’t responded to questions from other publications at the time of writing, but this is a shipping feature in a preview build of Windows 10. It’s possible that the company will be changing how this blocker behaves in the future.